Wednesday 22 November 2017

'I'll always be English, but I'm a Dubliner at heart' - Woman who applied for Irish passport after Brexit

Kelly Lynch says the main reason she applied for an Irish passport was to ensure EU status
Kelly Lynch says the main reason she applied for an Irish passport was to ensure EU status
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A Manchester-born woman who moved to Ireland twelve years ago says that Brexit "100pc spurred me on" to apply for an Irish passport.

Kelly Lynch (24) admits the main reason she applied for a passport was to secure EU status, but says she has not renounced her British citizenship.

"I will be maintaining both passports. Just once Brexit is over and done with, I do not want the hassle of travelling in Europe on a non-EU passport," she told Independent.ie.

Through her Irish grandmother, Kelly has always been eligible for citizenship.

Many of her family members are Irish and she always intended to apply for a passport here, but says Brexit was the main motivator behind her decision.

But while she has lived much of her life here, she considers herself to be more British than Irish.

"It is extremely important to me to be British. Close family and friends born in the UK with Irish passports consider themselves Irish now, as opposed to British, but I don't and I'm not sure I ever will.

"Whilst I would consider myself to be a 'Dubliner' at heart, Manchester and the UK will always be home to me. I have a lot of family here in Ireland, my boyfriend is Irish, I went to secondary school and university here and I have now lived more of my life in Ireland than in the UK, but I think I will always be English," she added.

When asked if Brexit would deter her from returning to the UK in the future, she responded: "I think it is hard to say right now. It still isn't clear how Brexit is going to go, and the influence it is going to have on the UK in terms of jobs."

Kelly graduated from Dublin City University with an honours degree in law and is currently working in an Irish law firm.

She feels her job prospects are better in Ireland, but is not ruling out a return to British soil.

There has been an influx in people from the UK with Irish connections applying for passports in the wake of the referendum on Brexit.

Today it was announced that the Department of Foreign Affairs had to hire over 230 staff to deal with passport applications.

In a statement, the department said Brexit has resulted in a rise in submissions from Northern Ireland and Britain.

Latest figures show that applications from the UK were up 74% in January compared to the same time last year.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said over half of the recruitments are already in place.

"Early indicators in 2017 are showing that increased demand for passports is likely to be sustained, certainly in the immediate future. I am carefully monitoring passport services," he added.

Demand for Irish identity hit an all-time high last year with 733,060 passports issued.

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